If you’ve ever fancied thrashing around on a set of drums, Drums Rock ought to be a day one PSVR 2 purchase for you.
This music rhythm game set in the bowels of hell puts you in front of a full set of drums, sticks in hand. You’ll play along to an array of songs, hitting the correct drums and cymbals in time to the beat. You aren’t completely on your own, either: flying demons indicate what drums and cymbals you need to hit and when. It’s all very hair-metal 80s rock and roll, and we love it.
The meat of Drums Rock is found in Campaign Mode. If you’ve ever played Guitar Hero its format will feel familiar to you: by earning enough stars on one set of songs, you’ll unlock another set, and so on. You’ll earn stars simply for finishing a track, but also pulling off other feats like achieving a streak of more than 25 notes, or hitting more than 95% of notes. And so, to get three stars on each track, you’re going to want to bring your A-game.
Like you’d expect, tracks get more difficult as you progress through Campaign Mode. And things are occasionally mixed up with special level conditions. Maybe you’ll need to hit your sticks together on the beat rather than hitting a drum, or maybe you’ll even find your drumsticks replaced by boxing gloves. Sure, it’s silly, but punching a drumkit is about as much fun as it sounds (i.e. a lot).
Outside of Campaign Mode, there’s also a Challenge Mode where you can jump into any song you’ve unlocked and compete for a place on global leaderboards. There are multiple difficulties to choose from for each song, and you’ll earn in-game money by playing. Vying for international greatness of a tricky song is great fun, and undoubtedly earning a top spot on the leaderboard will be a great feeling indeed.
Challenge Mode also has a few extra songs that you won’t find in the Campaign which can be bought in Drums Rock‘s in-game store with the money you earn. There are also various cosmetics to be bought, like different drumsticks and new hands.
Whichever mode you’re playing, Drums Rock has a few neat ways to show off your skills and increase your score. If you’re truly rock and roll, you could bounce your sticks off a drum, letting them fly into the air before catching them. Or you could play with your eyes closed: the PSVR 2’s headset tracking will know you’re not looking while you’re rocking out.
There are some handy accessibility features available within Drums Rock, too. You can adjust the height of your drum kit to suit your position. And there are things like making your drumsticks sticky so you don’t need to hold down buttons on your sense controllers to hold them. Having a fiddle in the options can really improve your time with the game, so we heartily recommend you pay a visit before playing.
The only problem you might have with Drums Rock is that its licensed songs are cover versions. You know, a bit like walking into a bargain shop with its own radio station where you know the songs but they don’t sound quite right. Its versions of songs such as Joan Jett’s I Love Rock and Roll and Evanescence’s Bring Me to Life aren’t bad, at least, but it’s a shame they’re not the official versions. Still, we imagine developer Garage51 didn’t have the biggest budget, and music licenses are very expensive. It’s forgivable.
While we wish it had more licensed songs – and the official versions at that – we’ve had an absolute blast playing Drums Rock. Getting into the swing of a song and nailing a combo leaves us feeling like a rock legend, and unless you’ve got access to a full drum kit, this is the closest thing you’re going to get. Make no bones about it: Drums Rock rocks.